Force 17 Office, Copenhagen

Yahoo Groups - 14 March 2008

On April 5th, 1989 the Danish Intelligence Service (PET), put out an alarm that 12 terrorists were on their way Damascus to Copenhagen intending to abduct a plan in Scandinavia. According to a Berlingske Tidende report, PET got this information directly from Force 17, Arafat's elite unit, as part of an on-going cooperative effort between the two agencies. What Force 17 got in return is unclear.

Danish authorities knew that people connected to Palestinian terrorism were allowed into Denmark in the 1980s. They planned attacks in Denmark without being arrested or charged in any criminal case. Critics thinks that the authorities ignored terrorist activities, for fear of revenge attacks, or because they were getting intelligence from the Palestinians.

The Blekinge Street Gang case shows that the PFLP group was active in Denmark in the 1970s and 1980s. But they were just one of several Palestinian groups which operated in Europe in those years, including Force 17.

In Denmark, PET monitored a handful of Force 17 members, who had come to Denmark claiming to be stateless Palestinian refugees. A few obtained Danish citizenship got a job and got married in Denmark. But Force-17 people in Copenhagen also planned a series of attacks, while the PET followed them on the sidelines.

In 1987 the PET intercepted a plan to murder a former Israeli intelligence agent, Sylvia Raphael, who at the time was living in Norway. Raphael was a mossad agent and was sent in 1973 to Norway to kill the suspected head of the Munich Massacre in 1972. The plan failed and Raphael got five years in prison. After she was freed she stayed in the country and married her Norwegian army defense lawyer.

In 1987 a group of Force 17 traveled by ferry from Copenhagen to Norway liquidate Raphael. They didn't know that several PET people were on-board with them, and that Norwegian intelligence had warned Raphael, who had gone into hiding. PET and Norwegian police followed the Force 17 people as they tried hunting down Raphael and finally gave up.

This attack in Oslo was not the only one PET was aware of. In 1988 the Chief Rabbi of Denmark, Bent Melchior, was warned by PET men of an attack against him and Politiken chief editor, Herbert Pundik (see more here). Melchior was also told of a previous murder attempt of Israel's president Chaim Herzog, who visited Denmark in July, 1987.

The media picked up on these stories after the police breakthrough in the Blekinge Street Gang case in May 1989 showed that there were groups in Denmark with the will, ability and contacts to support Palestinian terrorism. (...)